When River Island announced that they are partnering up with Rihanna on a special collection last month, I had a suspicion that there was something bigger behind it. Despite having 300 stores at home and abroad, River Island still isn't as well known internationally as other British high street stores like Topshop. Their partnership with Rihanna, then, sounded like part of a bigger plan to raise their profile international and considering today's reports, it looks like I was on to something.
Today the Independent confirmed that the retailer plans to follow in the footsteps of Topshop by opening their first US store in New York's Manhattan next year. At the moment there's still no word about the exact date but considering that Rihanna's collection for them drops early next year, it's pretty safe to assume that the big opening will coincide with the launch. The only big question now is whether Rih Rih will pose in their shop window, Kate Moss style.
Despite being in the press recently for allegedly supporting an unhealthy body image, Topshop is in the headlines again but for a good reason this time. The high street retailer has decided to launch an evening wear line and will launch a new store in Las Vegas next March.
Named Dress Up, the line will feature a selection of cocktail dresses and occassionwear at prices ranging from $120 to $350. "There was a hole in the market for all of our customers," Sir Philip Green told WWD. "When we were figuring out something new to introduce, [we found] there was something our customer was missing, a cocktail dress at a $120 price point or a long silk gown you could wear to a wedding for $350."
Whilst many brands are closing their stand alone stores and are quickly losing their retail space in key department stores Giambattista Valli is growing from strength to strength.
Fashionsta reports that the brand experienced a 30% increase in sales for their Fall 2010 collection compared to the same collection the previous year. Above that the designer has secured the brand's position in 220 stores in 40 countries across the world. With all that in mind, it's hardly a surprise that the designer is set to expand the brand by opening it's first stand alone store later this autumn. Luckily for Parisians, the store is set to boast both accessories and ready to wear and will be set on rue Boissy d'Anglas.
In addition to its existing location at Clifford St, Louis Vuitton has announced it is opening a temporary Christmas store at Selfridges London from November 2nd 2009 to January 10th 2010. The store, which will contain a 19-metre wall displaying 200 small leather goods and a window space with Louis Vuitton's "Holidazzle" animations, will wrap all gifts in unique clash-coloured ribbons, exclusive to Selfridges.
Focusing on a wide range of gift items from the Louis Vuitton portfolio, the temporary space will feature leather goods, sunglasses, belts, textiles, jewellery and city guides, as well as dog accessories, including collars, bags and leads in new colours and styles, which can be personalised by hot stamping. One of the highlights of the store will be an exclusive dog motif T-shirt designed by Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director, Marc Jacobs. The T-shirts will be available in a wide range of colours; perfect for that must-have present this Christmas.
It was a fashion milestone on Wednesday, when Derek Lam celebrated the opening of his first-ever store. Anna Wintour, a pack of models and Brian Atwood were all on-hand to congratulate the designer in New York, but Rihanna caused the biggest paparazzi swarm. "For Derek, I don't mind," she told Style.com.
Aleksandar Stanic and Fiona Sinha are keeping busy right now, but they can't say with what. Stanic tells Vogue.com: "We are working on our autumn/winter production just now and designing spring/summer 2010. But we are also currently designing a mini capsule collection for an online retailer, which I can't reveal yet. It will be launched later in the year. It's very exciting."
The Brit label is also shortlisted for the El Boton-Mango Fashion Awards, along with nine other finalists. Could it be a big year for the duo?
When Michael Kors opened his New Bond Street store this week, he was feeling 'optimistic'. Optimistic that his clothes would sell well, optimistic that they wouldn't show up in vintage shops a year later, optimistic that wall prints of his icons (Jackie Kennedy, Jack Nicholson, Goldie Hawn, Robert Redford) would make shoppers want to hang out.
Kors told Vogue.com: "You have to be upbeat...Customers buy a piece and wear it until it's worn out - we are not what you would call a 'one night only' brand."